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The field of ophthalmology studies all the structures of the eye including the eyelids, tear ducts, eye globe and nerve paths.
Eye disease is very common in dogs and is also frequently seen in cats.
Many breeds of dogs have a genetic predisposition to eye disease. This can range from very painful eyelid abnormalities seen in Shar-peis and Chow chows, to retinal atrophy of Poodles, and Collie Eye Anomaly which can lead to blindness. Eyelid problems have to be surgically corrected to avoid pain and ulceration. Research your dog's breed to discover any common eye problems.
Corneal ulcers may be commonly seen in many breeds. Ulcers may be caused by viruses, surface irritants, exposure and injury. Corneal ulcers should be treated at once. A simple eye stain test can diagnose an ulcer so treatment can be started immediately. The type of treatment for an ulcer varies depending on severity. Never use an eye medication on your pet without consulting with your veterinarian first.
Conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eye), is very common and ranges from mild to severe. Early treatment can avoid complications.
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca or "dry eye" occurs when natural tear production decreases. This condition is seen most often in the Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu and Cocker Spaniel. This disease can lead to serious complications if left untreated.
Corneal pigmentation is common in brachycephalic (short or pug-nosed) breeds. This condition occurs because large eyes are more susceptible to drying or chronic irritation from facial hair.
Cataracts are most often found in older dogs of any breed. They may also occur as juvenile cataracts in some breeds such as Spaniels and Poodles.
Retinal detachment can be related to injury or systemic disease and usually presents as acute blindness.
Eye disorders can be signs of general systemic disease.
The doctors of Northwood Animal Hospital are skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular disease; however, some conditions may require the services of an ophthalmology specialist.
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